The majority of the 3,500 languages and dialects in the world, some 3,000 in fact, are unwritten. Mexican Indians have over 100 unwritten languages and dialects for example, and India has over 1,000. A study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology estimates that 3,000 of the worlds 6,000 languages are doomed because no children speak them. Africa alone has 1,800 languages, Indonesia 672, and New Guinea 800. Only 300 are estimated to have a secure future.
A UNEP report in 1999 indicated that of the estimated 5,000 to 7,000 languages spoken around the world, nearly 2,500 are in danger of immediate extinction. An even higher number are losing the ecological contexts that keep them as vibrant languages. UNESCO estimated that 4,000 to 5,000 of these languages are spoken by indigenous peoples.